Strange Logic

Arvind Kejriwal’s reply to the notice served by Union Minister Virbhadra Singh — for defaming parliamentarians — is along expected lines.

Written by Express News Service | Published: April 20, 2012 12:48 am

Strange Logic

Arvind Kejriwal’s reply to the notice served by Union Minister Virbhadra Singh — for defaming parliamentarians — is along expected lines. The RTI activist has refused to apologise for his comments. What’s new is his invocation of Virbhadra Singh’s descent from the royal family of Bushahar to make the point that it is not fitting of a man with “royal blood” in his veins to try to “gag the voice of the people by serving legal notices”. Seems to be an interesting take from a self-appointed guardian of democracy.

Foreign Studies

The government has just called for applications from senior officials for short-term training programmes to be conducted at prestigious institutions abroad. Curiously,two of the programmes at Harvard University,both of two-weeks duration,are meant for officers in the rank of Secretary or Additional Secretary. Usually,officers of these ranks are not sent for training. Among the institutions where such programmes would be conducted are the London School of Economics,Duke University and Syracuse University. Most of the courses are of two to six weeks duration,the longest being a 74-day programme in Governance,Democratisation and Public Policy at the ISS,Geneva for which deputy secretaries,directors and joint secretaries are eligible.

Retiring Type

ASHOK Thakur,Special Secretary in the HRD Ministry,is all set to get a new assignment. The 1977-batch IAS officer is tipped to become the Tribal Affairs Secretary in place of Arvind Kumar Chugh who is due to retire soon. Thakur managed to keep a low profile in the HRD ministry even while dealing with the rather newsy IITs and IIMs and his new assignment is likely to be a quiet affair for him as well. Incidentally,Tribal Affairs Minister V Kishore Chandra Deo was not entirely happy with Chugh and is learnt to have even requested the Prime Minister for a replacement. But then it was decided to let Chugh,a 1974 batch officer,retire from that position.

Mamata Effect

WHEN a West Bengal minister,Firhad Hakim,on a recent trip to Delhi,questioned the June 30 deadline for cable TV’s transition from analog to digital in four metro cities,the Information and Broadcasting Ministry was taken by surprise,since its Minister of State,Mohan Jatua,belongs to the Trinamool Congress. Hakim was scheduled to meet a senior official of the Ministry,and on that occasion he was explained in detail the rationale behind the move. While he is said to have been personally convinced,Hakim still suggested that a ministry send an official team to Kolkata to address the concerns of the state government. Keen to avoid any confrontation with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee,the Ministry has decided to send a team of senior officials to Kolkata,as early as next week.

Russia ties

AT a special function organised by the Russian Embassy to mark 65 years of Indo-Russian diplomatic ties,which was attended by several leading lights of the Indian foreign service establishment,a film detailing some key twists and turns in the relationship between USSR — and now Russia — and India was screened. At the function,Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin,who has been part of the India-Russia story for 45 years,narrated how at the age of six he disappeared from home “and was finally discovered sleeping on the sofa of a hall where Raj Kapoor’s Awara had just been screened.” That’s when he figured it would be a special relationship.

Kitply files complaint against Azam

LUCKNOW: The construction of a bus station by private operators in Rampur has triggered a controversy,with Kitply Industries claiming that it owns the land that has been taken away at the instance of Urban Development Minister Azam Khan.

In a letter to CM Akhilesh Yadav,the company has alleged that the district administration had ignored their complaint because of the minister’s “clout”. “Azam Khan is a powerful minister. Kitply has all the papers establishing the ownership of the land. But no one listens to us,” said Devendra Kumar,DGM (Personnel and Administration),Kitply Industries.

Khan has refuted Kitply’s claim,saying that half of the factory is on illegal land.

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